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    1. #1
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      Cushing’s, Hypothyroidism, and Boomer

      A little over a year ago, Boomer was diagnosed with a rare form of liver disease – the cells swell up and burst. No effective medication available. So I assumed his lower energy and increased thirst were due to his liver condition, and tried to accept the changing version of normal.


      Last week, found a small dark mass on the outer side of his lower lip where it becomes hairless. Because of his past oral melanoma, I took him to the vet ASAP. Not fluid-filled. Reasonable potential for melanoma but uncertain until removed and tested.


      Because of liver issue, hesitant to use anaesthetic. Vet said he could do local freezing and conscious sedation (I don’t know if I heard that correctly) to remove but only if liver hadn’t become significantly worse. He ran blood tests. Liver is worse. When my vet did a biopsy a year ago, ALP was 500. It’s 1900 now. And now he also has hypothyroidism. Other symptoms I thought were due to liver could now be due to the pituitary (Cushing’s disease). Or not. Or both. A lot of confounding factors.


      I know ALP can elevate for many reasons but Boomer has a chronic, untreatable liver condition. If he also has Cushing’s, it’s contributing to the liver readings.


      Test for Cushing’s, if negative, we continue treating thyroid. If positive, could be false positive but would be treated to see if thyroid returns to normal. If false positive, treatment & testing cycle will be for nothing. If true positive, treatment will deal with cortisol due to Cushing’s (I think) but about 10% chance thyroid would still need treatment albeit at a lower dosage. To assess the effectiveness of both treatments and set the correct levels, I assume Boomer would need to repeat both tests at least one or two more times before we check again in a year (my vet said six months, but in this case, he thought a year would be fine – I couldn’t help wondering why he thought that). If no test and it’s Cushing’s, it’ll affect everything and add to the mix of, well, everything. We’d continue to treat the thyroid at increasing dosages.


      Meanwhile, the small mass on Boomer’s lower lip might or might not be affecting his organs but now we’ll never know for sure, and his liver continues to lose function no matter what else we do or don’t do.


      On top of that, he’s even bumpier than before, some of them quite big. I used to have them aspirated as they appeared but now with his liver, no way to remove any because of risk of using anaesthetic. None impede his movements nor seem to be causing any discomfort, so at least I don’t have to make a decision there.


      It was a long phone conversation when my vet phoned with the test results. I took notes but obviously not enough. The brain processes only so much as you pretend to be practical.

      Phoning the insurance company today to verify what they’ll cover.

    2. #2
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      I'd say that, if you retained that much from such a phone conversation, you were doing really good. That's an awful lot to deal with, especially when you factor in your emotional involvement.

      I'm sorry to hear that Boomer's tests weren't better and more definitive already. It's always better to know exactly what you're dealing with.

      Sending all good thoughts for you to get things under control and for Boomer to do as well as possible....stay active and comfortable.
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    4. #3
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      My goodness, that sounds like quite a balancing act. I hope he's still a happy, active guy. I know just what you mean by your phrase, "The brain processes only so much as you pretend to be practical." In the moment it's hard to think of every question you or someone else might come up with. It sounds like you did well, taking notes.

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      Java (02-08-2019)

    6. #4
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      I am really sorry. So many stuff going on at once. Fingers crossed and only good thoughts for Boomer.

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      Java (02-08-2019)

    8. #5
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      I'm so sorry...but only good thoughts for Boomer...

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      Java (02-08-2019)

    10. #6
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      Sending mojo.

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      Java (02-08-2019)

    12. #7
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      He’s a happy boy. Loves his toys, loves his food, loves attention, loves his car rides, loves his (shorter) walks & flat trails, loves finding stinky things by the water’s edge. He was staring at me just now, trying to convince me to give him more carrots. A bit more farty, snores a little louder, needs to go out in the yard more often. Been sleep-deprived but last night he actually slept over six hours. He hasn’t done that in a long time. After his first dose of thyroid meds. Probably coincidence. We’ll see (I admit it would be nice to get a decent night’s sleep again).

      I’ll see how Boomer responds to the thyroid meds first. He already seems more energetic (he leapt up in the air a few times when I got home because he wanted to go out for his walk - he hasn’t done that in a long time either).

      Thanks for the good thoughts for Boomer. He still gives me the same smile as in my avatar pic.

    13. #8
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      Poor Boomer, so much at the same time. You know what, he does not know all this is going on and he is being the best he can, loving walks, loving food, loving life, and loving you.

      Sending mojo and prayers being said.
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      Java (02-09-2019)

    15. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Java View Post
      He’s a happy boy. Loves his toys, loves his food, loves attention, loves his car rides, loves his (shorter) walks & flat trails, loves finding stinky things by the water’s edge. He was staring at me just now, trying to convince me to give him more carrots. A bit more farty, snores a little louder, needs to go out in the yard more often. Been sleep-deprived but last night he actually slept over six hours. He hasn’t done that in a long time. After his first dose of thyroid meds. Probably coincidence. We’ll see (I admit it would be nice to get a decent night’s sleep again).

      I’ll see how Boomer responds to the thyroid meds first. He already seems more energetic (he leapt up in the air a few times when I got home because he wanted to go out for his walk - he hasn’t done that in a long time either).

      Thanks for the good thoughts for Boomer. He still gives me the same smile as in my avatar pic.
      A friend of mine's spaniel/mix mutt had a complete turn-around when put on thyroid medicine. Ronnie's like a new dog. They thought they were losing him before (don't remember all of his symptoms but not being able to do walks to the park was one of them).

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      Java (02-09-2019)

    17. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by SunDance View Post
      A friend of mine's spaniel/mix mutt had a complete turn-around when put on thyroid medicine. Ronnie's like a new dog. They thought they were losing him before (don't remember all of his symptoms but not being able to do walks to the park was one of them).
      Oh, that’s lovely. That’s such a happy thing to happen.

      I hope to see improvement for Boomer too.

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